The last month (December 2012) has been something of an International month. We conducted CSD (Certified Scrum Developer) courses at Oklahoma (USA) and Kathmandu (Nepal). Narinder (One of the instructors) has written about this on his blog. This course was done in partnership with Platinum Edge and Raman Tech. It was a really good batch, albeit a small one, who got together really well and completed their exercise really well (not half bad for a first attempt). It was all the more enjoyable, since they were feeling free to really challenge the instructors (not something that happens often in India).
There was a slightly amusing (in hindsight) argument about how a “Flight ticket booking” user story is different from a “search for flights” user story. A couple of participants saw the latter as an inseparable part of the former. Srinivas kept insisting that these are different and a couple of people insisting on it being a part. We reached something of an impasse. However the point IS that stories need to be broken down into conveniently small chunks and to be treated as independently as possible (see INVEST). Also the orientation of a user doing a search for flights (in order to plan/compare options) is different from that of a user booking (in order to travel). In any case this is a good example of how to deconstruct an application functionally. Enough about lecturing…. on to CSD experiences…We also had a really bright chap (who tried to bring out general from the particular, particularly well, I’ll see if we can get him to comment on this).
The course closed really well and all in all much more fun than we thought, even given the long flights. BTW Narinder, the luck so and so, got to fly in Lufthansa’s A380.
Next CSD stop was Nepal (Kathmandu). This is a very interesting American firm (www.veriskhealth.com/) with a development centre in Nepal. We had done work for them earlier (under the aegis of GoodAgile) , and it was a pleasure to re-visit.
The last time we were surprised by the quality of personnel. This time we were not surprised, as the quality was just as high. India wake up! The Nepalese CSD participant batches (2011 and 2012) were clearly better than any batch we taught in India. People were more participative, knowledgeable and curious. They did a really good job with the exercises and have done well on the CSD test as well. Of course one tries to steer clear of inter -batch comparison but the difference between the Intl ( US batch and the Nepalese batches) and Indian batches was clearly perceptible. Of course we do have really good/sharp people attending the course in India, but not as a whole batch.
All in all the warm hospitality and eagerness of the people was instrumental in bringing 2012 to a sweet close. We now look forward to good, enjoyable sessions at home and abroad in 2013.
I recently had a discussion with some people who were interested in the CSD. It transpired that there was an assumption that all the five days of the course needs to be taken together. However this isn’t the case. First of all the CSD has two routes:
For those who are already CSM/CSPO there is only one three day course to take. For other people there are three courses to take, totaling five days (1+3+1). They should be taken in the order shown. However the three courses need not be taken together or even in the same city. This can be arranged by talking to us.
These courses together provide an in-depth understanding of all the practices and principles needed for succeeding in Scrum projects.
Three Coats of Paint
Our courses are typically taught in three passes. It is well known that people retain only a part of what is said to them. We ensure that the key points are absorbed by providing information in small doses. Relating various topics to each other and showing the relevance ensures that students gain comfort with these state of the art approaches to software development. So what does it look like?
- Overview (what and why)
- Detailed instruction (How to practice and tips)
- Experiential (long exercise and de-brief)
We first provide an overview of the topics talking about the terms briefly, why they are important and how they all fit in. Next we take participants through each practice in detail while explaining the principles they rely on. We usually provide small exercises along the way to drive home the main points. Finally we have the class do a longer, more realistic exercise in groups to experience the application of these practices themselves. So you really don’t need much of a background, just an open mind.
Critical capabilities are needed for teams to succeed with Scrum in their projects.
Succeeding in Scrum projects hinges on a team’s ability to deliver an increment of high quality software, each and every sprint. In addition the team makes sure that this increment works with all the software built previously. Further thought shows that, since the team does not know for certain which functionality it’ll have to implement in the following sprints, it also must keep the software simple and flexible. This is done by a combination of just in time design decision making, simple design, automated tests and improving internal structure of code. All this is aided tremendously for teams which have access to timely, informative feedback, human and tool based. These are the capabilities that you can start building by taking up the CSD.
The one day introduction to Scrum course provides a through basic training of Scrum. The three day technical track course teaches topics which are the cornerstone of successfully executing sprints. Finally the one day course on working with legacy code will round all this off enabling you with means to apply what has been taught previously as you work on long running projects (usually a series of enhancements) which have been been following the traditional waterfall approaches.
The course itself has been vetted by industry thought leaders and taught by specialists. This means you are getting the correct information from a good source. However it is worth remembering that this will be a starting point. The whole course lasts five days (three, if you already have a CSM). More benefits and details are available from the CeeZone CSD page.